Offshore Wind Breaks Records in UK

Offshore wind generation in the UK rose by 28% percent in 2018, providing a record-breaking 8% of the UK’s electricity, according to the latest report by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The Walney Extension offshore wind project. Source: Ørsted

UK’s offshore wind capacity increased by 1.2GW due to several large projects opening or continuing to expand, including the 659MW Walney Extension offshore wind farm.

Offshore wind turbines generated 26.7TWh last year contributing to the total renewable energy record production of 111.1TWh, an 11.8% increase compared to 2017.

In the fourth quarter of 2018, generation from offshore wind increased by 14%, from 7.8TWh to a record 8.9TWh, also caused by an increase in capacity.

At the end of Q4, offshore wind held an 18.5% share in the UK’s renewables capacity, which totaled 44.4GW, a 9.7% increase year-on-year.

The load factors for offshore wind increased by 1.2 percentage points, from 38.9% to 40.1%, BEIS reported.

These record breaking figures demonstrate the unstoppable momentum for renewables, with spectacular global cost reductions in onshore and offshore wind, as well as battery storage, being reported this week by Bloomberg New Energy Finance,” said RenewableUK’s Deputy Chief Executive Emma Pinchbeck.

“Wind power in the UK is driving a transformation in energy, to clean, affordable and flexible power that works hand in hand with exciting technologies of the future like storage and EVs.”